Trade Shows

UNITED MEDIA ACQUIRES BLENHEIM GROUP

The British media conglomerate United News & Media announced Oct. 30 that its publishing group, Miller Freeman, would fully merge with trade exhibition producer Blenheim Group USA to become the world’s largest trade exhibition group. UN&M acquired Blenheim for $935.5 million. At press time, the merger was expected to be final at the end of November.

Miller Freeman, based in San Francisco, Cal., and its Asian division, Miller Freeman Asia, publish National Jeweler, Jewellery News Asia, Jewellery & Gemstones Directory of Asia and Chinese Jewellery News Asia under the name Miller Freeman Jewelry Group. The group also owns the Hong Kong Jewelry and Watch Fair, the Bangkok International Jewelry Fair in Thailand and the India International Jewelry Show.

Blenheim Group USA, Fort Lee, N.J., organizes the JA International Jewelry Shows in New York City.

In 1995, the two companies became the joint organizers of the new JA Las Vegas!, after both groups separately announced plans for winter jewelry shows in Las Vegas. Protests from the industry about the proliferation and expense of new jewelry shows prompted Miller Freeman and Blenheim to consolidate their efforts.

Reports say UN&M was interested in bidding for Blenheim because the two companies are complementary regarding geographic location and market sector.

With the merger, Blenheim and Miller Freeman will jointly organize more than 250 shows and exhibitions in various trades in Europe, the U.S. and Asia, and will publish more than 260 magazines, conferences, business directories and related publications. Management hopes to integrate Miller Freeman’s business publications with Blenheim’s trade shows and to continue to expand into Asia and other developing regions.

At press time, all parties involved with the JA International Jewelry Shows — including Jewelers of America, Miller Freeman Jewelry Group and Blenheim — were still waiting to hear how the merger might affect the future of the shows.

“Of course we have great ideas and thoughts about what changes we can make with the merger, but any decisions we would make right now would be premature,” says Joan Landis, group director of jewelry shows for Miller Freeman.

JA LAS VEGAS! PLANS NEW INTERNATIONAL PAVILIONS

Manufacturers from Hong Kong, Thailand and Israel will be featured in three new pavilions at JA Las Vegas! Feb. 2-4.

The Thailand Pavilion will include more than 50 companies, led by the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association. The Gold and Silver Jewelry Group and the Gemstones and Fine Jewelry Group will serve as the two main product groups at the pavilion.

The Israel Pavilion will feature more than 20 jewelry designers and manufacturers. The Israel Jewelry Manufacturers Association and individual designers will be on hand.

More than 75 designers and manufacturers will represent the Hong Kong Pavilion, with support from the Hong Kong Jewelry Manufacturers’ Association and the Hong Kong Jade and Stone Manufacturers’ Association.

Miller Freeman Jewelry Group, One Penn Plaza, New York, NY 10119-1198. Exhibitors: (212) 615-2852, fax (212) 279-4450. Buyers: (888) 253-6434, ext. 9329, fax (201) 346-1571.

L.A. MART TO FEATURE TABLETOP EXHIBITION

The L.A. Mart Gift, Decorative Accessories and Furniture Market, to be held Jan. 14-21 in Los Angeles, Cal., will feature a variety of new special events and products, including a special exhibition of tabletop lines and accessories.

The event will include a juried exhibit and seminars titled “Bridal Registry and Beyond,” “Jump Into ’97: Hot Trends Worth Watching” and “Taste in Tabletop.”

Other leading showrooms at the market will include stationery, decorative accessories, tabletop, gourmet, garden and floral, and souvenir and novelty items.

L.A. Mart, 1933 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007; (800) LAMART, fax (213) 746-1215.

RETAILERS HONORED AT PHILADELPHIA SHOW

Appalachian Spring, a craft retail chain based in Washington, D.C., was recognized as Retailer of the Year during the presentation of the Top 100 Retailers of American Craft at the Philadelphia Buyers Market of America Craft in June. The chain is owned by David and Paula Brooks.

NICHE magazine, a trade publication for craft retailers, polled more than 9,500 professional craft retailers across the country to decide the winners of the awards. More than 500 stores and galleries were nominated in various categories. Winners were recognized for performance in buying, payment, marketing, store presentation, community outreach and establishing successful relationships with artists.

The next Philadelphia Buyers Markets of American Craft is scheduled to be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Feb. 14-17 (Jewelry and Wearables Preview Feb. 13) and Aug. 1-3. The shows will include breakfast seminars, daily fashion shows and NICHE awards ceremonies. Registration, hotel and travel packages are available by calling Market Travel at (800) 43-CRAFT. Child care is provided at the Convention Center by Call-A-Granni, (215) 924-8723.

The Rosen Group, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21211; (410) 889-2933, fax (410) 889-1320.

JEWELRY, GEM, MINERAL SHOWS PLAN ’97 DATES

Jewelry, Gem and Mineral Shows and Sales will be held April 11-13, Oct. 17-19 and Dec. 5-7 next year in the Westchester County Center Building in White Plains, N.Y.

“A Gloria Rothstein Show” Inc., Box 1010, Highland Mills, NY 10930-1010; (914) 782-SHOW, fax (914) 782-7400.

EXPO PLANNED IN PHOENIX

The Phoenix Fine Art & Jewelry Expo will be held March 7-9 in the Phoenix Civic Plaza in Phoenix, Ariz. More than 500 artists are expected to exhibit their work. Piscopo & Co., 6925 E. Fifth Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251; (888) 888-6803 or (602) 941-8888, fax (602) 941-1976.

AGTA TOSPONSOR A ‘SPORTY’ SHOW

The American Gem Trade Association will host the Coyote Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament on Jan. 28 in conjunction with the AGTAGemFair, to be held Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 in Tucson,Ariz. GemFair exhibitors, buyers and guests will play on teams of four in golf or individually in tennis during the tournaments, to be held at Tucson’s Starr Pass Resort.

To register for the tournament, contact AGTA by Jan. 17 at P.O. Box 581043, Dallas, TX 75258; (800) 972-1162 or (214) 742-4367, fax (214) 742-7334.

OASIS GIFT SHOW PLANNED IN PHOENIX

The OASIS Gift Show will be held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 in Phoenix, Ariz. More than 10,000 buyers are expected to attend the show to buy jewelry, home accents, multicultural merchandise, Western and Southwestern products, souvenir and novelty items, apparel, gourmet foods and other gift merchandise. The show will feature an Artisans’ Showcase and several seminars, including “Managing the 25-Hour Day,” “Making Full-Line Retailing Work for You” and “Gift Ideas for Today.”

OASIS, 2633 E. Indian School, Suite 340, Phoenix, AZ 85016-6762; (800) 424-9519 or (602) 952-2050, fax (602) 952-2244.

PHILADELPHIA TO HOST BUYERS MARKET

The Buyers Market of American Craft will be held Feb. 14-17 in the Pennsylvania ConventionCenter in Philadelphia, Pa. More than 1,500 American studio artists will exhibit contemporary, transitional and traditional craft.

A daily fashion show of wearable art and jewelry will take place each afternoon, and the eighth annual NICHE magazine awards for exceptional craft artists will be given in an evening ceremony. Buyers and exhibitors can converse at a breakfast roundtable on exclusivity and attend a seminar on “How to be a Dynamic Craft Seller.” For registration, hotel and travel through Market Travel, call (800) 43-CRAFT. The Rosen Group, 3000 Chestnut Ave., Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21211; (410) 889-2933, fax (410) 889-1320.

INTERACTIVE CATALOG EVENT PLANNED IN TUCSON

Catalog in Motion will be held Feb. 1-4 in Tucson, Ariz. The event will give jewelers and customers the opportunity to see and try tools, equipment, supplies and other products offered through Rio Grande Tools and Equipment. The show, to be held at the Tucson East Hilton, also will feature demonstrations of jewelry techniques and display findings, beads, gems, packaging and display products.

Catalog in Motion, 7500 Bluewater Rd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87121-1962; (505) 839-3247, fax (505) 839-3248.

FOREIGN SHOW UPDATE

A weekend of reverence for religious articles and jewelry will take place Jan. 26-28 at Religio ’97 in Chartres, France. An exclusive jewelry section will focus on metals, crosses, chains and lockets. U.S. jewelers should contact Export Communications at (800) 497-7379, ext. 65; e-mail bernard@aristonet.com; Internet http://www.religio.com.

Nearly 90,000 visitors from around the world are expected to attend the International Spring Fair Feb. 2-6 in Birmingham, England. The show at the National Exhibition Center will feature more than 4,000 exhibitors of giftware, tabletop, home furnishings, framing and fine art, greeting cards and gift wrap, commercial stationery, luggage and leather goods, and fashion accessories. White Hound Advertising, 1225 Willow Ave., Hoboken, NJ (201) 659-0134, fax (201) 222-2141.

Inhorgenta ’97, the international fair for watches, clocks, jewelry, precious stones, pearls, silverware and equipment, will take place Feb. 21-24 in Munich, Germany. Organizers expect about 1,300 exhibitors from 30 countries. Inhorgenta, Messe Muchen GmbH, Trade Fair Center, D-80325 Munchen, Germany; (49-89) 5107-207 or (49-89) 5107-161, fax (49-89) 5107-560.